Monday, June 19, 2017
Wins by McIvor Verna, Mojito Mayhem, McIvor Neville and Future Past at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon gave long-time Moyston trainer Peter Franklin his best day ever at a greyhound track.
And that’s without even throwing in the fact that McIvor Verna and Mojito Mayhem established track records over 600 metres and 512 metres.
It was the second week of record-breaking runs at the local track after Brazen Bomber and Paraphernalia, trained at Horsham by Jeff Guy, had set new 512 metres and 600 metre time standards of 29.55 seconds and 34.97 seconds respectively at the June 11 meeting.
And while McIvor Verna turned in an outstanding effort to win the Williams Crane Hire Stake (600 m) by 12½ lengths in 34.84 seconds, it was Mojito Mayhem’s 29.52 seconds that further highlighted a greyhound who has virtually made Tara Raceway his own since winning at his first race start over 400 metres at the local track in a best of day 23.14 seconds on October 24, 2014.
The son of Fear Zafonic boasts the fabulous Flying Amy as his great-granddam and with an overall race record of 77 starts for 23 wins, 21 minor placings and $37,000 in prizemoney he’s been a more than handy money spinner for Barry Priest who owns Sunday’s four winners.
Mojito Mayhem has also won at Angle Park and Ballarat but it is at Tara Raceway where he has really excelled, accumulating 16 wins – including two Anniversary Cups and the 2016 Mount Gambier Cup – from 28 starts over 512 metres.
Back at his favourite track on Sunday after an unplaced run over 390 metres at Ballarat last Wednesday, Mojito Mayhem went straight to the front from box two in the Klaassens Contractors Free For All, eventually running out a 3¼ length winner over Lektra Uncut.
Short term, Franklin is now looking at his 4½-year-old black dog trying for a third consecutive Anniversary Cup – something that has never been done before. Heats will be run on Sunday, July 16 with the final a week later.
When maiden performer McIvor Verna, at only her sixth race start, knocked over a classy 600 metre mixed 3/4/5 field at Tara Raceway in April she gave the impression of bigger and better things to come.
Well, the bigger and better things certainly came on Sunday with the 30 kilogram daughter of US sire Bella Infrared and Blonde Caviar quickly rounding up the field before going on to a mammoth win – her third from only 11 starts.
Franklin has long held the view that staying would be the May 2015 whelping’s forte and as such after Sunday’s performance he was giving serious thought to nominating McIvor Verna for the heats of the Stayers Cup which will be run over 731 metres at Angle Park on Thursday night.
As far as McIvor Verna’s litter brother McIvor Neville was concerned it was always going to be a matter of whether he could stay in touch early before unleashing his powerful finishing burst.
McIvor Neville, winner of this year’s Sims Memorial at Tara Raceway, looked close enough down the back when in third spot and that’s how it panned out as he finished too powerfully for Seabrook Noisey to win the Berringa Park Stake (512 m) in a quick 29.77 seconds.
Attention then focussed on the final race, the Allestree Holiday Units Free For All (400 m), and whether Future Past could give Franklin four winners for the day.
Or taking it even further, could Franklin actually make a track record clean sweep of the three distances?
Future Past, a litter brother to Mojito Mayhem, took over the running from Raz’s Girl mid-race to eventually win by 1¾ lengths in 23.17 seconds and give Franklin a career-best four winners. No track record, but a pretty handy run all the same.
However, there was a time when a Franklin-trained dog did hold the 400 metre record, that being Ireland’s Oyster who ran 22.83 seconds at the end of January 2015.